Willow Oak vs Pin Oak | Which Oak is Best For Firewood?

Willow oak(Quercus phellos) is native to the eastern and central United States. The willow is a deciduous tree and It is used in the park and yard as a shady and ornamental tree. It is often found near lakes and ponds. It needs a good amount of moisture for fast growth.

Pin oak (Quercus palustris) is native to North America. It is the most commonly used landscaping, firewood. Its properties are almost similar to red oak. Pin oak grows very fast and has beautiful fall colors and winter interest. It also has the ability to provide dense shade such as willow oak.

#Willow OakPin Oak
Scientific Name:Quercus phellosQuercus palustris
Tree Size:65–100 ft (20–30 m) tall50–75 ft (15–23 m) tall
Tree trunk diameter:3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Dried Weight:48 lbs / ft3 (770 kg / m3)44 lbs / ft3 (705 kg / m3)
Janka Hardness:1,460 lbf (6,490 N)1,500 lbf (6,650 N)
Uses:Cabinetry, furnitureCabinetry, furniture, landscaping
Availability:easily availableeasily available
Color:light to medium reddish-brownlight to medium reddish-brown
Difference between Willow Oak and Pin Oak

Willow Oak vs Pin Oak Uses

Willow Oak Uses

  1. The willow oak is one of the most popular trees for gardening, planting, and ornamental trees.
  2. Willow Oak’s lumber uses landscaping around malls, shopping centers. Because it is durable in contact with moisture and soil.
  3. The wood is used for lumber, crossties, construction, and pulp.
  4. Its bark is used to make medicine. The medicine called salicin is made from willow bark. Some patients use willow bark as an alternative to aspirin.

Pin Oak Uses

  1. Pin oak is commonly used for landscaping, like willow oak, It can also be durable in contact with moisture and soil.
  2. It has good properties of coaling. Therefore it is famous for firewood.
  3. Pin Oak (1,500 lbf (6,650 N)) has higher Janka hardness than willow, so it can be a good choice for flooring projects. Medium to high(more than 1000 lbf) Janka hardness helps protect the wood from dents and scratches.
  4. Pin oak and other oak bark are used to make many medicines.

Willow Oak vs Pin Oak Workability

If we talk about workability, there is not much difference between willow and pin oak, Easy to glue, stains, and finishes very well.

These species have more branches so that knots are also more present in them. Sometimes it becomes a problem while working.

Willow Oak vs Pin Oak Firewood

Firewood | Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The wood of willow oak is not considered very good to burn because it does not produce higher heat like Pin Oak and other hardwood. Splitting willow wood can be not easy sometimes. It should be left to dry for at least one or two seasons before burning. Willow wood has more moisture than pin oak and red oak.

Pin oak can be considered as better firewood because it is harder and heavier than willow oak and has excellent properties of coaling. It has 25.9 BTUs per cord value, which determines that it produces more heat.

Difference Between Willow and Pin Oak Tree

The Willow tree is about 20–30 meters (65–100 ft) in length and 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter. It grows rapidly, The growth rate is about 2 feet(24 inches) per year.

If we talk about pin oak, then its tree length is 65–100 ft (20–30 m) tall and The trunk diameter is 3–5 ft (1–1.5 m). Its growth rate is the same as willow.


Willow leaves are generally long and thin. The leaf edge is smooth and the leaf position alternates. In autumn, its leaves turn red-orange and fall from the tree.

The leaf of Pin oak is red and deep-bronze in autumn. The size of the leaf is about 5–16 cm (2–6 1⁄4 in) long and 5–12 cm (2–4 3⁄4 in) broad.


The bark of willow oak is brownish. In young trees, it is smooth light gray and later it becomes dark brownish. There are a lot of cracks in the bark of old trees.

The young pin’s bark is smooth and light green. Over time it turns dark gray and becomes more rough bark with a loose, spreading canopy.

Which is better: Willow Oak or Pin Oak?

It is a little difficult to say which of them is better. Both species belong to oak and both possess almost properties like red oak.

Yet it differs in some ways. Pin oak is better for firewood while willow boxes, brooms, cricket bats, etc. are considered better. So which of the two is better, depends on your choice and use.

Comments are closed.